Our Tony predictions on Friday went great, other than our calling one potential nominee by the wrong name. Now it’s time to turn to the straight plays, in which a whole lot of excellent shows and performances are competing for an extremely limited number of slots. Which NBA Western Conference team should you cheer for when tomorrow’s nominations are announced? We’re happy to present our predictions for the Tony nominations in the play categories. And this time we found this Tony eligibility page, so no more confusion about who’s up for what!
Locks: August: Osage County; Rock ’n’ Roll; The Seafarer
Fighting it out for the final slot: The 39 Steps; Is He Dead?; Mauritius; November
Tracy Letts — whose August: Osage County has become the runaway favorite on Tony night — will certainly be nominated, as will Tom Stoppard and Conor McPherson. But which play will nab the final slot? We’ll go with Is He Dead? — just because we like the idea of a 110-year-old work getting a nomination for best “new” play.
Best Play Revival
Lock: The Homecoming
Probably in: Macbeth
Fighting it out for the final two slots: Boeing-Boeing; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Come Back, Little Sheba; The Country Girl; Pygmalion; Top Girls
What a year! The list doesn’t even include such starry revivals as Cymbeline, Cyrano de Bergerac, or Les Liaisons Dangereuses, all of which we think probably won’t make the cut. We’ll round out our predictions with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Top Girls; we think the nominators might reward the ambition of the latter and the audience-friendliness of the former, but we’re almost certainly wrong.
Locks: Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing; Patrick Stewart, Macbeth
Probably in: Brian Cox, Rock ’n’ Roll; Ben Daniels, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
It seems impossible that they wouldn’t give this performance a nomination, so here he is: Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
Possible surprises: Norbert Leo Butz, Is He Dead?; Morgan Freeman, The Country Girl; James Earl Jones, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Kevin Kline, Cyrano de Bergerac; Ian McShane, The Homecoming; Rufus Sewell, Rock ’n’ Roll
Dear Lord — would you bet against any of these dark horses?
Locks: Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County; S. Epatha Merkerson, Come Back, Little Sheba; Amy Morton, August: Osage County
Probably in: Eve Best, The Homecoming; Kate Fleetwood, Macbeth
Possible surprises: Frances McDormand, The Country Girl; Martha Plimpton, Cymbeline; Anika Noni Rose, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
There’s an argument to be made for each of the actresses we leave out. McDormand is arguably the best part of her starry cast; Plimpton was terrific in Cymbeline — and may get crowded out for Top Girls as that crowded cast may dominate the Featured Actress category; and ingénue Rose holds her own against three very different forces of nature in her co-stars James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, and Terrence Howard. Still, we think British powerhouses Best and Fleetwood will get the nods for their showcase roles.
Earlier: Tony Predictions: Song-and-Dance Division